101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Saturday, November 22

...for the unknown medical...Part III


You need to read Parts I and II for this to be any good...really.

The night that just won't end continues and the sun comes up in a little less than an hour and a half. Earlier in the shift my partner and I commented that there was a nifty looking complex neither had been to before and we wondered what it looked like on the inside. Mistake number one.

THE EMERGENCY
A man has called stating there is a man across the hall beating on a door screaming that his grandmother won't answer and may be ill.

THE ACTION
Sure enough we're pulling into the building we were wondering about, cursing under our breath why we said anything to begin with. The manager meets us at the door stating there is a man upstairs trying to break into his grandmother's apartment screaming she is ill. We ask him for the key and he says he has none. When I ask the engine crew to grab an axe to force the door, the manager suddenly produces a key and upstairs we go.
At the end of the hall (It's never the first door, always the last) is a fellow in pajamas (It is 4 AM), dirty socks and a sweatshirt and he's got the top and the bottom of the metal entry door bent open. As we ask him what's wrong we notice his right hand is wedged between the door and the frame and he can't get away. Separated from the door we note his face is pale and covered in what looks like wet coffee grounds. He's crying that his grandmother won't answer the door and may be dead.
The key opens the door and we find grandma asleep in the back room, perfectly fine. Our focus shifts to our new friend in the hallway and he is now altered and combative. He tells us he went out to smoke a cigarette and got worried his grandmother was sick because she wouldn't answer the door.
Just because it was late I asked, "What else did you smoke and goodness friend what is all over your face?"
"I ate some mud."
"Why?"
"I was hungry."
"And what else did you smoke down there?"
"Meth..." is his answer and now all the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together. We wrangle him into the ambulance and enroute to the hospital he perks up and tells me all about how he hallucinated that his grandmother was sick.
I told him he'll want to be hallucinating when he returns to grandma's and has to pay to fix the door.
2 lessons learned on this run. First, always take your keys with you when you smoke methamphetamines and, second, never comment out loud that you've never been a certain place for a call.

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